It's been a week since I left the trail. The cuts on my legs are healing nicely. Most of the pains have subsided, although my right shoulder is still stiff from a fall during the second to last day on the trail. While not finishing the Appalachian Trail was disappointing, I made the right decision to leave the trail in one piece. As I have experienced during my other long-distance hikes, the generosity of people who befriended me along the way stands as the most emotionally powerful part of the journey. My cousin Bill took me in with about an hour's notice. I know it's not polite to drop by at the last minute. I'm grateful to Vivian and Jim for hosting me for two days and showing me the sights (see photo) then driving me to the bus station in Portland. I have concluded that the vast majority of people are kind and generous, especially when they understand the situation. I thank everyone who helped me on the AT. Now it's time to prepare for riding across the US starting on Sept 16.
I’m glad you are in one piece, Alan. We should get together in Boulder before I leave for S.C. on Sept. 7 (also I’ll be in NM from Aug. 30-Sept. 3).
Remind me, too, what route you’re taking for the cross-country ride. If you are coming anywhere near Hilton Head, S.C., we’d love to put you up!